Paul Gentilozzi ran a lap of 1:21.571 through the streets of Long Beach in his Rocketsports Jaguar XJR to take the pole for the Trans-Am race at the Long Beach Grand Prix. Gentilozzi wanted to get the pole for "the points, the money, and the ...
Paul Gentilozzi ran a lap of 1:21.571 through the streets of Long Beach in his Rocketsports Jaguar XJR to take the pole for the Trans-Am race at the Long Beach Grand Prix. Gentilozzi wanted to get the pole for "the points, the money, and the recognition," and because his sponsor, Johnson Controls, is also the race sponsor. As a strategy for the race, though, he thinks that the front is not necessarily the place to be. "It's an extremely difficult racetrack--it's easy to drive on, but very easy to make a mistake here--clip a wall or flat spot a tire--you have aggressive guys behind you who want to take that position from you, so it's easy to get caught up in the emotion of it," he said
Boris Said was second in a Panoz Esperante, coming out ahead of Butch Leitzinger's Corvette for the first time this weekend. Said, who called his car "an old one but a good one", only ran five laps during the session because he wanted to save his tires for the race. "This track is pretty hard on the rear tires, and I think everyone is on the soft tires -- with this few cars we might get a long green flag run," he explained.
Leitzinger, who is driving for Tom Gloy Motorsports, Michael Lewis, in a Jaguar from American Spirit Racing, and defending race winner, Lou Gigliotti, driving his own LG Motorsports Corvette, were the remaining Fast Five qualifiers. Each of the Fast Five gets a championship point, and Gentilozzi gets an additional one for the pole position.